After a slow start to the season, the Badgers made up for lost time this weekend in their games against the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks and the RMC Paladins.
The Badgers scored 10 goals this weekend, two of them against the Ridgebacks and eight against the Paladins.
The Badgers have had a realization over the past few weeks, playing in the OUA is difficult. They need to battle every game. This weekend, they did.
The Ridgebacks scored first on the Thursday night game but Ryan Burton scored his first of the season, a perfectly executed wraparound goal to tie the game heading into the second.
“He hasn’t scored a tonne for us, he likes to score goals and that’s why we got him here and when he gets one there’s a big smile on his face. Makes him a little faster makes him a little bigger so it’s good to see,” said head coach Marty Williamson.
Jared Marino scored his third of the season in the second, a goal that would ultimately end up being the game winner as the third period went scoreless.
Ontario Tech out-shot Brock 30-24, but Mario Cavaliere was solid in net, making 29 saves.
The Badgers spent a decent amount of time on the power play and on the penalty kill in both the game against Ontario Tech and the following game against the Paladins. In a league like the OUA, where truly any team can go home with the championship, special teams can make or break a playoff run.
“Some guys do power play, some guys do penalty kill. We just use whatever their assets are. Guys like Brack, Berg, Brown and Marino, they’re battlers, that’s where they do a hell of a job for us on the penalty kill. Specialty teams we struggled a little bit early with them and I think they’ve gotten better for us,” said Williamson.
Williamson doesn’t like playing such close games. He’d rather outscore his opponents than rely on defense and goaltending.
After the Ontario Tech game, he asked his team to score more.
“Just a little more execution and we can get a few more goals.”
The game against the Paladins brought the goals and the penalty minutes. It was high scoring and penalties piled up for both sides, as they always tend to when RMC is in town. There were plenty of opportunities for the penalty killers to prove themselves and the power play unit to get to work.
The first goal came early, with Mitchell Mendonca scoring at the 2:38 mark in the first. Alex MacDonald scored soon after for the Paladins on a power play. Cosimo Fontana and Justin Brack found the back of the net before the end of the first, giving the Badgers an already comfortable lead going into the second. It was going to be a high flying game for both teams.
Ayden MacDonald furthered the Badgers lead with a goal early in the second. This was followed by another goal from Alex MacDonald of the Paladins, his second of the night. Brayden Stortz and Jordan Sambrook would also score for the Badgers.
The Paladins were prepared to get physical in the third to steal control away from the Badgers. Things got out of control when RMC’s Alex MacDonald laid a massive hit on Brock’s Tyler Rollo from behind. Rollo was able to return to the game, but MacDonald was ejected before he had time to complete his hat trick.
Ethan Spaxman and Cole Thiessen snuck two more past the Paladins backup goaltender to cement their victory.
The Badgers struggled early in the season to create and execute offense. This weekend, however, the Badgers outshot the Paladins 48-28. It would seem that their offensive woes are behind them.
The Badgers play Waterloo on November 7. The last time the Badgers and the Warriors met, the Badgers won 6-0.